Train manufacturer Alstom has missed out on a contract to build more metropolitan trains for Victoria, according to the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union (AMWU).
According to the Ballarat Courier, AMWU official Pete Douglas was told Alstom missed out on the contract for the Dandenong rail corridor upgrade.
However, the Courier was not able to confirm the news with Alstom. The company’s communications director Australia and New Zealand Sheldon Young said the company was bound by confidentiality agreements.
Alstom’s Ballarat operation employs about 60 people. However, when the company completes its current project to build eight X'Trapolis trains for Melbourne's metropolitan fleet next year, it is not certain that the company will be able to continue this size of operation.
"The government changed the process earlier this year to open it up to unsolicited bids to upgrade the Dandenong rail corridor, which included upgraded train stations, removing rail crossings and upgrading crossing signals, along with new rolling stock," Mr Douglas said.
"Part of that was a tender to build and service 25 new trains, next generation trains with greater carrying capacity. We are not sure if they were bound by the government's minimum local content requirement of 30 per cent.
"Alstom's tender would have been pushing above the 40 per cent.
"The potential flow-on is to 30 plus local suppliers, and by local I mean Australian suppliers.
"We understand Alstom has been told its bid is unsuccessful but the two remaining bids have the facility to build trains locally but also have the means to build them overseas and that's where it gets murky."